FTSE 100 watch: Corporate updates lift Footsie

on May 8, 2014
Updated: Apr 9, 2020
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iNVEZZ.com, Thursday, May 8: Britain’s blue-chip index has gained ground today, led higher by Barclays Plc (LON:BARC) whose shares surged after the bank announced a revival plan. Shares in BT Group (LON:BT) have also soared after the company posted solid full-year results.

Overall market sentiment has improved today, benefitting from positive trade data from China and easing tensions in Ukraine.
**Company updates prop up FTSE 100**
As of 12:17 BST, the UK’s benchmark index had added 39.29 points to be 0.58 percent up at 6,835.73 points after finishing broadly flat yesterday.
Barclays has been the top Footsie riser today after saying that it would cut 19,000 jobs in the next three years and set up a ‘bad bank’ as part of a wider plan to boost returns. (Barclays share price jumps on strategy update)

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Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, told Reuters that the lender’s significant restructuring was “welcomed by investors as an effort to transform the bank… even if it means the flagship investment banking division, which has driven things for so long, needs scaling back”. Barclays’ share price has added 5.71 percent to 257.20p so far today.

BT’s share price has also surged with the telecoms giant posting its first increase in consumer revenue in a decade. (BT share price rises on upbeat full-year results) BT’s shares are currently trading 3.08 percent higher at 388.40p.

AstraZeneca’s (LON:AZN) share price has also advanced, rising 1.66 percent to 4,708.00p as of 12:43 BST, propped up by speculation that US giant Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) will return with a higher takeover bid.
The broader market has found support in figures showing that China’s exports and imports had climbed last month from the prior year period. An easing of tension in Ukraine has also helped improve market sentiment with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin saying that Russian troops had been removed from the border.

The Footsie has been little changed today after the Bank of England (BoE) maintained the bank rate at 0.5 percent and the size of its asset purchase programme at £375 billion, in line with expectations. The European Central Bank (ECB) also left its rates unchanged.
**Footsie fallers**
The standout FTSE 100 faller today has been The Sage Group Plc (LON:SGE) whose shares have dropped after the company’s chief executive announced plans to retire in the next 11 months. (Sage share price falls as CEO announces plans to retire) Sage’s share price has lost 5.92 percent to 397.00p.
Shares in British Gas owner Centrica (LON:CNA) are also trading in the red today after the company warned that its full-year earnings would be lower than previously anticipated on account of challenging market conditions on both sides of the Atlantic. (Centrica share price drops as company warns on earnings) Centrica’s share price currently stands 2.88 percent lower at 317.40p.
**The FTSE 100 was 0.39 percent up at 6,822.97 points as of 13:02 BST on 8 May 2014.**

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